July 2, 2010

Link-O-Rama

• Once upon a time Steve Carrell leaving The Office would have made me sad, but it's tough to get too worked up given how far the show has slipped recently. It was a good run.

Mariano Rivera is the greatest relief pitcher in baseball history and the New York Times has an amazing video breakdown that sheds some light on how he's been able to dominate for 15 years with basically one pitch.

• Despite being among the most brutal reviews of all time the Washington Post account actually increases my interest in a Courtney Love concert.

• Losing to the Twins wasn't even close to the worst part of Johan Santana's week. Setting aside everything else, my first question is what kind of maniac has sex and then immediately plays tennis?

• Starting next year the Mets will pay Bobby Bonilla a $1.2 million annual salary through 2035.

• While the TwinsCentric viewing party watched the Twins' ridiculous extra-inning win over the Phillies last week one of the televisions at Park Tavern showed an Amanda Bynes movie. We naturally spent the final few innings debating which movie it was, to the point that Seth Stohs missed Ryan Howard's game-ending strikeout because he was busy looking at her IMDB page on his phone. Less than 24 hours later Bynes retired from acting at age 24. Eerie, huh?

• Hopefully they'll also be able to trade him for Tom Gugliotta.

• Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Kelly Brook spent the week modeling various bikinis while on vacation. Surely no further commentary is necessary.

• Video of the "100 Greatest Movie Insults" is almost as not-safe-for-work as it is fun to watch:

My favorite is "go home and get your shine box," but anything from Alex Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross and R. Lee Ermey in Full Metal Jacket is pretty great too.

Ron Artest celebrated an NBA title just like you'd expect Ron Artest to celebrate an NBA title.

• I'm apparently one of the few people who loved Louis C.K.'s first show that got canceled by HBO after one season, so it's no surprise that I also love his new show on FX. They're running back-to-back episodes every Tuesday night and I highly recommend watching assuming that you enjoy things that are really funny. And if you've never seen his amazing stand-up before, watch this recent set on Lopez Tonight. If you don't laugh, we can't be friends any more.

Party Down deserved far better than to be canceled after two seasons on STARZ, but it was such a good show and so overlooked that most of the actors got better gigs. Adam Scott will be a regular on Parks and Recreation and my crush on Lizzy Caplan will live on forever.

Freaks and Geeks is another show that deserved much better, but at least the Independent Film Channel will now be home to the old episodes nearly a decade after NBC sadly canceled the series after one amazing season. IFC also has Arrested Development re-runs.

• There's still time for the Twins to choose him over Joe Mauer.

• Some rare good news from the newspaper world: Let go by the St. Pioneer Press a year ago, friend of AG.com Phil Miller has been hired full time by the Minneapolis Star Tribune after doing a bunch of part-time work for them recently. I'm a little sad that Miller will be covering Gophers football after previously reporting on the Twins and Timberwolves, but his writing is so good it might actually get me to read about Tim Brewster and company. Maybe.

Conan O'Brien can feel good knowing that at least no one is watching Jay Leno.

• My weight-loss effort was a total failure last month and the fact that there's a donut shop opening soon about a block from my house isn't going to help.

• Next time you get frustrated by a Twins baserunning mistake, remember Ruben Rivera:

Jon Miller's play-by-play really takes the clip to a whole new level.

• Rather than make some lame joke about fumbling, I'll simply link to Adrian Peterson and his Playboy-posing fiancee.

• Having chatted with him about such things, let's just say that this drawing of Jon Heyman is not a self-portrait.

David Kahn has accomplished in two years what two decades filled mostly with losing could not, because between the draft and first couple days of free agency I'm giving serious thought to picking a new favorite NBA team. Any suggestions?

• This song randomly got stuck in my head last week despite not hearing it for 15 years, and I defy you to find a superior lyric: "Leave you kinda startled like the funk off a Frito / Make your man jealous while hoes cheese like Doritos."

• Based on this quote, I'd guess Ron Gardenhire reads Twins blogs, but not this Twins blog or any of the Twins blogs I read.

• A pair of Twins blogs Gardenhire and you should check out: OMG MN Twins and Knuckleballs.

• For whatever reason I was very late to the Drew Magary party, but he's quickly become one of my favorite writers because of absurd-yet-interesting things like this. As for the question on the table, I'd definitely take the over on 25,000.

• Friend of AG.com and awesome poker writer Paul McGuire has a new book called Lost Vegas that I can guarantee will be worth reading.

• I've been writing the "Daily Dose" column on Rotoworld each weekday since April 3, 2006, so it definitely feels weird to say that today's is my 515th and final column.

• On a related note, here are some highlights from my NBCSports.com blogging this week:

- Can Ubaldo Jimenez be the first 30-game winner since 1968?
- Stephen Strasburg's teammates let him down again in loss
- The next 300-game winner? How about Jamie Moyer?
- Pat Burrell apparently left his bat back in the National League
- White Sox are winning, so rookie Dayan Viciedo isn't playing
- GM says Carlos Zambrano's contract wasn't a bad deal ... and he's right
- White Sox reportedly targeting Nationals slugger Adam Dunn

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Eddie Vedder joining Bruce Springsteen for a live version of "No Surrender":

April 9, 2010

Link-O-Rama

  • I've been blogging about the Twins since 2002 and never really thought to apply for a press pass, but at the urging of my NBCSports.com bosses they submitted a request on my behalf for Monday's home opener and surprisingly (to me, at least) it was accepted. I'm excited to be at Target Field and curious about how the whole process works, but also pretty damn nervous about being so far out of my element. Which is to say not writing from bed.


    Hopefully the couple local media members about whom I haven't said horrible things in this space will take pity on me and show me the ropes, or at least not encourage Jim Souhan and Dick Bremer to take swings at me. Either way, it should make for an interesting blog entry and NBCSports.com article come Tuesday. Or it could all just be a Candid Camera-style prank that ends with me standing outside Target Field. I haven't ruled that out.
  • In what's the most compelling evidence yet that people are tapping directly into my dreams, there's a Grilled Cheese Academy website featuring Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Jenna Fischer narrating descriptions of 30 grilled cheese sandwich variations. Seriously.
  • Analyzing the Springfield Power Plant softball team is definitely the best use of Wins Above Replacement that I've ever seen.
  • I'm thinking about doing this to my office. You know, if I had an office.
  • MinnPost media writer David Brauer did some investigating following reports that someone christened Target Field at one of last week's exhibition games by smoking pot out of a bong fashioned from a red pepper and found ... well, it might actually be true. And in an unrelated note that sounds related, Target Field has been named the "greenest" ballpark in baseball.
  • NBC's new show Parenthood is uneven at times, but mostly pretty good. And that was before adding Minka Kelly to the cast this week.
  • Congratulations to former St. Paul Pioneer Press beat reporter Phil Miller for landing another gig covering the Twins for FSN's website. At the moment finding Miller's articles is kind of a hassle because the website isn't fully functional yet, but you can follow him on Twitter. He's a very good writer and a super nice guy too.
  • The Situation took a break from GTL long enough to shoot this funny commercial with Mets third baseman David Wright:


    Fun fact: In lieu of a lump sum payment for his endorsement of Vitamin Water several years ago Wright took a 0.5 percent stake in the company and then pocketed a cool $20 million when it was sold to Coca Cola in 2007.
  • HBO canceled his horrendous talk show after just three episodes, but as part of Joe Buck's new four-year contract with FOX he'll develop another talk show along with serving as their lead MLB and NFL play-by-play announcer. I believe the phrase is "failing upward."
  • Now that John Wall and Evan Turner have officially declared for the NBA draft, I'm sure the Timberwolves will end up picking No. 3 just like they did in 1992 with Shaquille O'Neal and Alonzo Mourning available. If they can actually avoid another Christian Laettner situation, I'm rooting for Turner over Wall. He reminds me of Brandon Roy, which of course brings up another bad draft-day memory for the Wolves.
  • Katy Perry: Terrible at making music, fantastic at wearing bikinis.
  • For my fellow degenerates, here are the gambling odds for each team winning the World Series. Yankees lead the way at 3-to-1. Nationals, Pirates, and Blue Jays bring up the rear at 150-to-1. And the Twins are tied for seventh at 18-to-1.
  • Bill Simmons and David Duchovny seems like an odd podcast recipe, but it was very good.
  • And speaking of Simmons, he's now embracing sabermetrics. As long as writing one positive column about something following years of mocking or dismissing it counts as "embracing." Either way, he's spreading the good word.
  • If you're interested in my running commentary during Twins games, follow me on Twitter.
  • Also on Twitter, this morning Peter Gammons called me "my friend Aaron Gleeman" and it made my decade.
  • New blog to check out: Just A Bit Outside.
  • Some of the highlights from my NBCSports.com blogging this week:


    - Brewers agree to long-term contract with Gallardo
    - Blocked by Votto, Reds prospect Alonso moves to left field
    - Kazmir on track to return next week, but will his raw stuff come back?
    - Blalock changes mind, accepts assignment to Triple-A
    - 27.7 percent of players on Opening Day rosters are foreign born
    - Why are the Reds rushing prospect Leake?
    - Berkman now aiming to return from knee surgery next week
    - After hiding injury, Saltalamacchia is back on the disabled list
  • Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Ronnie Lane singing "Ooh La La":

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